Enhance your Yoga Teacher Training with continuing education.
Monday, June 23, 2014
Tips On How To Teach Yoga Students On The First Day
By Faye Martins
There are many resources available that suggest how to teach yoga students. But if students don't return for the second day, it's all a waste of time. An instructor has just a couple of hours to convince their students that this will be a life-changing experience and that they are the person that can guide them there. Understanding this keeps classes full of curious and dedicated students.
Make a Connection
An instructor that can express how yoga has improved their life gets students interested. It doesn't need to be a story of cancer survival. It could be that yoga helps concentration while in college. Perhaps it calmed anxieties around relationships. Or it even could have been a way to better health. A connection is made with the instructor when the students hear that yoga has the potential of helping them in their everyday lives.
Less Talk and More Doing
The classroom contains a variety of students. Different physical attributes, backgrounds, cultures and experience levels are present. Each student has different questions that will take the entire session to answer. They all share one thing - they are there to do yoga. After a short introduction, show them a breath or warm up technique and "hit the mats."
Target the Beginners
When the class has multiple levels of experience, focus on the beginners. The experienced students know the limits of their bodies. They know how to match their breath with the pose. Help the beginning student master the basics. It will motivate others in the class to perfect their techniques.
Everyone Will Be Successful
When an instructor looks at the class with this thought, they work with the strength of each student. One student may be quick to pick up on a breath exercise. Another may adopt the Mountain pose perfectly the first time. Some students will succeed just by having tried all the exercises and made it to the end of the class. When each student feels that they have had a successful yoga session, they will be back.
Give Them Something to Take From the Class
Students with little motivation to think about yoga after the first class may not be back for the next one. Give them a simple Pranayama exercise such as abdominal breath or alternative nostril breath to do at home. Show them Child's pose and have them do this every morning. Give them something to remind them of yoga each day before the next class. They will be back to see what else they can take away and use in their lives.
Perfection Comes from Practice
However well the students follow the exercises on the first day is perfect for them in that session. Don't be concerned about perfect arm and leg positions. Don't suggest that yoga is not really being done properly until they do attain perfect control of their bodies. Encourage the students to practice. Praise them for having a successful first class. Every student wants to hear "You did great today and you'll do even better in the next class."
Be the Student
Learning how to teach yoga students is something an instructor continues doing throughout their career. Each student provides different challenges. Each student learns differently. The instructor who recognizes this is flexible, adaptable and always asking themselves how they can improve their teaching skills.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.